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Parliamentary questions
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11 March 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Pietro Fiocchi, Raffaele Stancanelli, Niclas Herbst
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The impact of hydroelectric power plants

The growing number of hydroelectric power plants near watercourses is increasingly worrying. Many anglers and citizens from different areas have complained about damage to the environment and fish fauna. The number of authorisations for such plants has increased in many Member States, so although new plants have a minor impact on the environment, the number of plants has nevertheless grown.

Anglers complain in particular about the large number of dams, their discharge and water uptake. As they create numerous barriers to water flow, the transportation of natural sediment is hampered, which negatively impacts fish species that reproduce on gravel beds. Furthermore, increased pH levels and freshwater weed growth have been identified. Large scale freshwater weed die-off leads to a reduction in oxygen levels in water.

Given this, we ask:

1. What steps is the Commission taking to ensure that hydroelectric energy production becomes environmentally sustainable, since it seems that micro hydropower plants have been partially funded by the EU?

2. What steps is the Commission taking to avoid damage to biodiversity, fishing and the quality of the water resulting from hydroelectric energy production?

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